A diverse legal profession positively impacts the administration of justice and is integral to fairness. The mandate to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive legal profession is central to the State Bar’s public protection mission. The State Bar partially fulfills this aspect of its mission by collecting and analyzing demographic and workplace experience data on licensed attorneys in California.
The Report Card on the Diversity of California’s Legal Profession describes the demographic composition of California’s 2022 attorney population and explores racial/ethnic and gender patterns in more recent cohorts of attorneys admitted to the State Bar. Analyses that explore where attorneys work, their leadership experiences, and satisfaction with workplace experiences crucial to advancement and retention are also included and are based on the 2021 attorney census, a voluntary survey administered to all licensed attorneys. These analyses were supplemented with findings from an April 2021 survey, which explored how the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased national attention on racial justice impacted attorneys’ work experiences. Interactive data visualizations are provided throughout the report, some of which are still under development. Deeper dives into specific topics are underway and will be released during the coming year.
As this report shows, the profession has become increasingly diverse in recent decades, with newly licensed attorneys better reflecting California’s rich and varied demographics. However, much work remains. The analyses highlight areas of the legal profession where the greatest opportunities for improvement exist. The “Calls to Action” section shares strategies to help employers and attorneys advance an inclusive workplace in support of a profession that reflects the diversity of our state.